Music Resounds at Hampton University

By Gabrielle Gant

Music is a ubiquitous element on Hampton University's campus. Whether a student is a part of the band, choir, or has personal musical aspirations, many HU scholars are involved with music at this institution.

Yahieness Collins is a freshman music recording technology major from Philadelphia. She said that she chose her major because she wants to be a well-known and well-rounded producer. "There is a lot of effort placed into this art," said Collins. "It does require a lot of my time; however, since it is something I love, I don't mind the long hours put into it."

Collins was one of two 2014 Hampton Idol winners.

Collins said she aspires to be an international hip-hop recording music artist. Her major is designed for students who desire a career in audio engineering, music recording, studio maintenance and more.

Ryan McClain is also a music recording technology major. He is a sophomore from San Diego, Ca. who chose this major to learn the basic fundamentals of music producing. McClain plans on being a music producer after graduating from HU. "My aspiration is to better my craft and become so educated that I can teach less fortunate students at an inexpensive price," said McClain. He also wants to open a studio for young producers to practice this art.

According to the Hampton University School of Liberal Arts website, music majors and minors must enroll in a major/minor performance class as well as a major ensemble each semester until their performance requirements are satisfied.

It is also mandatory that students perform in at least one recital each semester and pass a jury examination in front of the faculty at the end of each semester. The purpose of a jury examination is to collectively assess the musical progress of each student.

Among the musical organizations at Hampton University, there are three choirs: the University Choir, the University Concert Choir and the University Gospel Choir. The University Choir performs at major events on campus such as Opening Convocation, Commencement and Founder's Day. The choir also produces at least two major concerts per year.

The University Concert Choir is the main touring ensemble for HU and has performed in renowned concert halls and churches around the world such as Carnegie Hall, The Shrine of Immaculate Conception, and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Since the Concert Choir is very selective and membership is limited, students are required to be members of one of the other choirs and have a second audition.

Senior broadcast journalism major Terrell Snead is in the University Gospel Choir: His Chosen Sounds. Snead said, "I personally put a lot of effort into Gospel Choir. More than just being an organization, singing is a great part of my life. As a Christian, it's ministry to me, so it deserves all of my time." While he loves singing, Snead of Long Beach, Calif., said he does not have any desire to do it professionally.

The University Gospel Choir practices every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. His Chosen Sounds performs on and off campus, sings at the Memorial Church, and stages at least three major campus productions each year.

A survey conducted by the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project shows that 61% of music performance majors currently work as professional artists.

According to American School Search, there are approximately 40 music schools and colleges in Va. and about 800 music diplomas are awarded each school year.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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